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Cat Freezes To Death On Flight, Owner Want Answers From Airline

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
A cat owner in North Carolina is devastated after her frozen family cat is handed over by airline officials after a commercial flight.

Sara Stano, the cat owner, said Delta Airlines didn't have an explanation for the cat's condition.

Stano said she chose Delta Airlines for their trip from Portland, Ore., to Greensboro, N.C. because it was the only airline that promised to allow all three cats as carry-on luggage.

But Stano said when her family went to check-in, they were only allowed two cats as carry-on and were forced to check the other into the cargo area.

Once they arrived in Greensboro, the cat was dead.

"They brought him out in his kennel and they sat him down next to us and he was dead," Stano said. "He had been dead (for) a while, he was really stiff and he was really cold. It was horrible."

Stano's mother told reporters her daughter's account of what happened next.

"She said the man in Greensboro came up to her, handed her the kennel and just said, 'Here's your cat, we don't know what happened' and he turned around and walked off.'"

Delta Airlines has yet to release a statement regarding this incident, but its policy states passengers can only carry two pets in the cabin in economy class.

The Stano family insists it was promised they could carry all three cats. Delta guidelines also state passengers assume full responsibility for animals that are transported.
post #2 of 15
Thread Starter 
For their attitude to this poor woman, I personally will never fly Delta again.
post #3 of 15
OMG, guidelines or no, I would be suing the pants off of Delta! Count me as another one, Sue. Not that I fly much, but Delta won't be getting my business.
post #4 of 15
I wonder if they did an autopsy to determine if he really froze, or perhaps died from fright and in the cold compartment and with the elapsed time, rigamortus (sp?) set in. I've flown my cats in baggage and they get cold, but never to the freezing point.

Regardless, the situation was poorly handled by Delta.
post #5 of 15
That's horrible. The poor kitty and family. I really don't trust the cargo space for pets, and I guess those people didn't either as they were bringing all 3 into the passenger area with them, and with good reason.
post #6 of 15
That disgusts me. Ugh... I can't even put into words how angry I am.
post #7 of 15
OMG that's terrible!!!
post #8 of 15
I would NEVER have agreed putting my cat in the cargo of a plane specially this being a cross country flight. Poor kitty!
post #9 of 15
Unfortunately, this type of thing happens all the time, and not just with Delta. Has anybody read "Cat Fancy's" recent article on it? This makes me paranoid, because there may be a point when I have to go get my mom's dogs and fly back here with them, and they'll definitely have to go in the cargohold(they're Labs).
post #10 of 15
The cargo hold has both a pressurized and non-pressurized compartment. If the cat was in the pressurized compartment, it should have been fine - I've flown 4 of my cats that way. If they put it in non-pressurized, it would have died from asphixiation, not frozen to death. My cats flew in late October, early November, so it was a colder time of year, and frankly at 30K feet altitude, the air temperature is going to be cold any time of year.

I still hold that the owners should have an autopsy taken. If the cat died from asphixiation, it is clearly the airlines fault. If Delta didn't offer to do that, I'd say they are guilty of animal cruelty and trying to cover it up.

And while I think lawsuits are highly overused, I think the owners should pursue one, if nothing else to make a point to all airlines that people will not tolerate this type of negligence.
post #11 of 15
Oh my god how awful!!! I would be suieng Delta asap I dont think I could ever put my cats in a baggage compartment though. How scary for the poor cat.
post #12 of 15
Awww... that poor kitty. I feel so sad for him. I would want to sue them too. Here's a link to one of my favourite storys if anyone needss to cheer themselves up after reading this.

post #13 of 15
That's a cute story. It reminds me of the raccoon that stowed away in a container of dog food in Canada, and got himself a trip to Poland a few years ago. He licked up condensation and managed to open cans with his sharp teeth, and was in good shape when the container was opened after weeks at sea.
post #14 of 15
As a former airline employee, I am torn on this subject. Clearly the animal was not loaded into the appropriate cargo container and therefore froze. Or the cargo container was INOP (inoperative) and became so after loading before takeoff, or in flight. Either way it sounds like neglegence on the part of Delta Airlines. Whoever was in their operations that day and their ramp lead as well as baggage should of been able to handle this situation in many, many different ways. I am very sorry for your loss. Now I have to say something.....I would NEVER, EVER check an animal!!!!! It's really easy to blame this one on the airline, but once you check your baby like luggage, it's worth to the airline is luggage. Once they stick that baggage tag (check to see if the tag is "Limited Release" (this is important)...they will only treat that kennel as a bag. Not to say that airline employees are animals themsleves...trust me we aren't! In fact, we love getting animals in baggage and we try to make sure that they are in a warm, safe, and dry area...and are loaded last on the aircraft to avoid being thrown around. But they are still loaded into the belly of a Loud, tossed around cargo compartment. And if you are going to check your animal (please don't) make sure that you call the airline before you head to the airport. They will tell you exactly the cost and exactly what you need to transport the animal in the cargo area. This is REALLY, REALLY....important. Up until a couple of years ago, alot of airlines refused to take animals as cargo because of the liability issue. I wish you all the best, and again I am so sorry for your loss!
post #15 of 15
I have two good friends who work ground crew jobs with two different airlines. This story did not surprise me at all. If fact, I have heard many horror stories about transporting animals on planes from my friends. Some involve the animals getting misplaced in transferring to the plane, not unlike lost luggage. If no one takes on the responsibility quickly of caring for the misplaced animal then it can suffer many horrible fates.......heat, cold, lack of food and water, etc. I've also heard several stories about animals getting loose from their cages as they are being loaded . Some run off in a panic and are never seen again and in one instance the poor animal was run over by a grounds vehicle and killed. I, for one, would never fly an animal unless I could put it's cage under my seat and care for it myself.
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